We’ve all heard the advice that we should visit the dentist regularly, but few people truly know the importance of dental checkups and all of the benefits that come with them.
Since your overall health and oral health are intertwined, it’s important for the health of your whole body that you keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Your dentist is a critical part of your health care team and regular dental checkups help to ensure that any ongoing issues are managed and any new ones are caught before they can become a more significant concern.
How often should you visit the dentist?
It is best to see your dentist 2-3 times per year. You will visit the hygienist for a cleaning and then your dentist will take a look at the health of your jaw, gums, teeth and look for any other concerns. This allows your dental team to catch any potential concerns that may be forming and to check up on existing conditions as needed.
Why are regular dental checkups important?
Regular check ups are important as a preventative measure. Having your teeth professionally cleaned removes plaque and tartar build up so they do not cause tooth decay. Your dental cleaning also removes buildup at the gum line to help stave off gum disease.
Your dental team also screens for oral cancer and signs in your mouth that there may be other concerns happening within your body.
Why should pregnant women visit the dentist more often?
A mom’s oral health is connected to the health of her unborn baby through the bacteria in her mouth. Research has found a link between severe gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight. Babies who are born prematurely can have a risk of brain injury and problems with their eyesight and hearing.
Pregnancy can also take a toll on the oral health of the mother. Hormonal changes can affect the health of your gums and can cause pregnancy gingivitis, including bleeding gums. Morning sickness often means more stomach acid makes its way into the mouth and can weaken tooth enamel. And eating more frequently can lead to increased acid in the mouth, which will in turn increase the amount of acid-loving bacteria in the mouth, leading to a high chance of cavities starting.
Learn more about Oral Health & Pregnancy.
Why should diabetics visit the dentist more frequently?
If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease. Diabetes lowers the body’s ability to resist infection and slows healing so anything your mouth is exposed to carries a higher likelihood of becoming problematic.
High blood sugar is hard on the teeth and gums. When blood sugar is elevated, there are more sugars and starches present in your mouth which become acidic and promote bacterial build-up. Regular visits to your dentist help to keep build up at bay and ensure any issues that begin to develop are caught as early as possible to give you the best chance of healing them.
Learn more about Diabetes & Tooth Decay.
What happens at a typical dental visit?
Your dental hygienist examines your teeth and gums for gum disease, cavities, plaque and tartar during a dental cleaning. They will clean and polish your teeth, scaling any plaque and tartar build up from your teeth and gum line. They will assess your current oral health and perform an oral cancer screening. They will also discuss your concerns and lifestyle habits, share dietary advice and review anything else that relates to your current dental health.
A small instrument called a scaler is then used to remove plaque and tartar between the teeth and around the gum lines.
Your dentist will look at your teeth, gums, jaw and current radiographs and discuss any necessary treatment with you.
At Ambiance Dental, your first visit is a 120 minute complete dental examination where every facet of your overall health, oral health and daily lifestyle habits are discussed to get a full picture of your dental care needs This serves as a complete starting point to create an ongoing care management plan that suits your needs.
Learn more about What Happens During A Complete Dental Examination.
What is the difference between an examination and a cleaning?
During a cleaning, your dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth. During an exam, your dentist carefully looks at your teeth, mouth and jaw to identify any problems, such as cavities, gum disease, loose fillings, fractures and other damage or developing concerns.
What should you do between each dental visit?
In between your dental visits, you should be sure to maintain good oral care habits. Keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing regularly, flossing, avoiding abrasion and using a mouth rinse to ensure your risk of periodontitis and gingivitis is minimized.
Read about the CTx products we recommend.
Will seeing a dentist regularly give me a whiter smile?
The short answer to this question is yes, regular dental cleanings will give you a whiter smile because the cleaning also helps to remove surface stains and plaque build up. When plaque builds up on your teeth, it permeates your enamel and causes the yellow layer of dentin to show through. This can cause your teeth to look yellow. Dental cleanings remove stains and damaging bacteria and build up so your teeth stay healthier and look whiter.
As you can see, regular visits to your dentist are important to maintain the health and appearance of your teeth, gums and jaw. Your dentist can help you to manage many health related concerns and keep your smile looking amazing for years to come!
Book your next hygiene appointment and dental exam today!